Okay everyone knows there's been a lot of talk around here recently about how Tyreke Evans is not living up to his potential, not been passing out of 3 on 1's and not been hitting his free throws. I'm pretty sure that some people have blamed him for the recession and the downfall of the recording industry just for good measure. However, is he really that bad compared to other players taken around him in previous drafts? Lets find out together shall we? For the purposes of this article we'll be looking at the drafts of 2000-2010 and the players taken in the lottery of those drafts who play or played the guard or wing position at an NBA level.
First up 2000: Players taken: Mike Miller, DerMarr Johnson, Jamal Crawford, Keyon Dooling, Courtney Alexander, Mateen Cleeves. Of those players only Mike Miller and Jamal Crawford are still in the league, Jamal Crawford is a baller and Mike Miller is doing his best impersonation of Eddie Johnson.
Next 2001: Players taken: Jason Richardson, Shane Battier, Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson. All of those players are still in the league. Combined all-star appearances? Five, all from Johnson who didn't make his first All-Star appearance until he was 25.
2003: Players: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Kirk Hinrich, T.J. Ford, Mike Sweetney, Jarvis Hayes, Mickael Pietrus, Marcus Banks, Luke Ridnour. First off look at all those guards/wings sheesh. Okay, we all know that LeBron, Anthony, and Wade are superstars, actually the first superstars to make an appearance so far, unless you think Joe Johnson is a superstar. Ridnour Hinrich and Pietrus are still in the league. Combined All-Star games: 18 all from LBJ, Wade, and Anthony.
2004: Players: Ben Gordon, Shaun Livingston, Devin Harris, Josh Childress, Luol Deng, Andre Igudola, Bassy Telfair. Still in the league: Gordon, Livingston, Harris, Childress, Deng, Iggy. Did you know Shaun Livingston was still in the league? Me Neither. Combined All-Star games: 0. That's right 0.
2005: Players: Marvin Williams, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Raymond Felton, Martell Webster, Fran Vasquez, Rashad McCants. Fran Vasquez never played in the NBA. D-Will, CP3, and Felton were taken back to back to back, one of these things is not like the others. Combined All-Star games: 6, 2 for Williams, 4 for Paul. Williams didn't make his first game until he was 25.
2006: Players: Adam Morrison, Brandon Roy, Randy Foye, Rudy Gay, J.J. Redick, Thabo Sefolosha, Ronnie Brewer. Still in the league: Foye, Gay, Redick, Sefolosha, Brewer. All-Star Games: 3, all from Roy who is no longer in the league due to having no knees.
2007: Players: Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Corey Brewer, Brandan Wright, Acie Law, Thaddeus Young, Julian Wright. This draft was better out of the lottery then in it out side of Durant there isn't a single All-Star caliber player. Players taken outside the lottery who turned out to be pretty good: Nick Young, Rodney Stuckey, Arron Afflalo, Aaron Brooks. All-Star Games: 2 for Durantula.
2008: Players: Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbook, Eric Gordon, Joe Alexander, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, Brandon Rush. Derrick Rose is a superstar, I think we all agree there, Russell Westbrook is good, Gordon is also good, the rest of this class is meh. Fun Fact: The Kings have three players from this class on their roster. Jason Thompson at 12, J.J. Hickson at 19, and Donte Greene at 28. Combined starts for those players this year? 0. Combined All-Star games: 3, 2 from Rose, 1 from Westbrook, maybe some in the future from Gordon.
2009: Players: James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, Steph Curry, DeMar DeRozan(were his parents trying to set a record for capital in one name?), Brandon Jennings, Terrence Williams, Gerald Henderson, Earl Clark. By the way that's 10 in the first 14, counting Tyreke. Not one single player has made an All-Star game. Jonny Flynn is barely in the league, Steph Curry looks like his ankles might be made of glass.
2010: Players: John Wall, Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Patrick Patterson. Too early to tell about any of this class but Wall looks to be the only guy with superstar potential.
Totals: 77 Players drafted, 44 All-Star Games, 26 if you take away the class of 03. Players unarguably better than Tyreke Evans: 9 (Johnson, James, Anthony, Wade, Williams, Paul, Durant, Rose, and Westbrook). Players arguably better than Tyreke Evans: 7 (Jefferson, Butler (though those two are near the end now), Igudola, Gay, Mayo, Curry, Wall.). Everyone else is either too young, too old, or not in the league anymore (Brandon Roy). So of the players drafted in the lottery in the last 10 years, 9 are better than Tyreke and 7 are probably better, though I'd personally only say Iggy, Gay, and Wall. He pretty clearly slots into the second tier below the superstar players like LeBron, Wade, Anthony, Williams, and Paul. At 22 years old. In his third year.